2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Long-Term Road Test - MPG

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Long-Term Road Test

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for April 2018

by Will Kaufman, Associate Staff Writer

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is back on regular duty after all the recent drama. In case you missed the headlines, in April we wrote up the full story of how faulty hardware and software led to range issues that left two editors stranded on the side of the road with a dead Bolt.

Chevrolet took the Bolt in, diagnosed and repaired the problem, and we've had no further issues. April was relatively uneventful and our Bolt trundled along cheerfully enough through the daily abuse of an L.A. commute. For the full story, read Dan Edmunds' write-up; Bolt owners and prospective buyers will want to know these details.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Double Stranding Leads to Replacement Battery, Software Change

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Note: As of April 5, 2018, GM will begin contacting owners of 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EVs and asking them to bring in their cars for a software update. We don't know if this grew out of the account detailed below, but you'll want to read the whole thing if you're a Bolt EV owner.

It happened the first time on January 11 while editor Brent Romans was driving our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV to his home base some 235 miles away on the far side of Fresno, California. At the approximate halfway point in Bakersfield, he'd stopped briefly for a quick shot of extra juice at a DC fast charger. He'd unplugged with an indicated 174 miles of range in hand with just 113 miles left to cover. Piece of cake.

Traffic was lighter than it had been in L.A., and the pace of traffic was brisk. But the miles were coming off the range meter faster than Brent was driving them, so he reeled in his pace a bit. With 10 miles left to cover and 30 miles of indicated range remaining, the Bolt suddenly went into reduced power mode.

He tried to limp it home, but 45 mph was all the Bolt would give. A quarter-mile later, it wouldn't even do that, and Brent coasted the Bolt to a halt at the edge of the dark freeway. A passing highway patrol officer came upon the scene and used his cruiser to shield the Bolt from oncoming traffic as they waited for the tow truck.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for February 2018

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV accumulated only 774 fresh miles this month, which brings it up to 14,563 miles in all. Sure, February is a short month, but more nefarious forces were at work. Our trusty Bolt let us down and spent a full week at a local dealer going nowhere while it awaited a brand-new replacement battery pack.

Full details will come in a stand-alone writeup that will appear soon, including how we learned this was a known issue supposedly confined to early Bolts that had long since been discovered and resolved in production.

But this knowledge did not impress Kurt, the person who was driving when the Bolt abruptly toggled from 60 miles remaining to reduced power mode while in the leftmost HOV lane on a crowded freeway. As power ebbed away, he somehow steered it across lanes and onto the shoulder of a long exit ramp. Still, something like this leaves a bad taste in your mouth as you sit waiting for a tow truck for 90 minutes for no understandable reason.

Unlike January, there were no long trips out of town. Kurt's pre-problem drive was typical of this month's miles. It was all local go-to-work driving.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for December 2017

by Calvin Kim, Road Test Editor

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Where Did We Drive It?
The end of November through December is typically sporadic for our long-term fleet. Depending on who gets what cars, some will plow through 2,000 miles on cross-country visits. Others, not so much. Our trusty 2017 Chevrolet Bolt fell into the latter category because the few Edmundites (including me) who got the keys to our EV hatchback opted for staycations with family.

In this case, that meant about 540 miles of nothing but stop-and-go city driving, which, incidentally, this little electric car enjoys. While it's beneficial that more drivers are experiencing the Bolt, the true win is that more drivers are able to properly operate the controls and understand what the comprehensive dash is indicating.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for November 2017

by Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing Operations

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Where Did We Drive It?
We drove our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt all over town last month. The vast majority of time spent in motion was between 15 mph and 50 mph, both on city streets and in rush-hour freeway traffic. It is right in that window that the Bolt seems happiest, we've learned. Drive it long enough under these conditions (maybe even click down to L mode for max brake regeneration) and there is potential for record-breaking battery range. November was our best month yet.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Monthly Update for October 2017

by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Where Did We Drive It?
When Ferris Bueller said, "Life comes at you fast," he was in no way referring to life on an L.A. freeway. Out here, life comes at you one agonizing foot at a time, but that's when the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV does its best work. And for the month of October, we saw the Bolt do its bestest work ever.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Monthly Update for September 2017

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Where Did We Drive It?
We didn't quite add 1,000 miles to our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV this month, but we got close. Most of the mileage came from commuting, and because our Bolt EV has HOV lane access stickers, it's a favorite with those of us who have a particularly long drive to the office.

A couple of short weekend excursions were mixed in here and there because our Bolt can use DC fast charging equipment, but no one has thus far embarked on any kind of extended road trip. I'm willing to bet that situation will change fairly soon.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for August 2017

by Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing Operations

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Where Did We Drive It?
August was another low-mileage month for our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, but it was not without some drama. We spent the past four weeks using the Chevy to get to and from the office and as a city runabout. Never far from a charging station, the range envelope was not really pushed. Despite the lack of miles, there was still some excitement.

The Bolt spent a portion of the month out of commission with a flat tire. More precisely, flat tires. It went to three different tire shops and rode on the back of a flatbed tow truck. And it sent us on a seemingly wild goose chase in search of a replacement tire. In the end, the experience served as a frustrating reminder of what it's like to own a car without a spare tire.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Monthly Update for July 2017

by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Where Did We Drive It?
I guess this was one of those months for our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV. No, nothing bad happened to our little red runabout, but it didn't really rack up that many miles. When it wasn't parked, it stayed local and low-key. It's still a congested city/snarled freeway traffic favorite, and instead of complaints, the logbook filled up with ways Chevrolet could make the Bolt even better now that the Model 3 is in production.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Monthly Update for June 2017

by Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Where Did We Drive It?
Does commuting on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles count as going anywhere? Most times, it sure doesn't feel like it. Then again, driving our 2016 Chevrolet Bolt EV means access to the carpool lane no matter how many people are in the car, so at least that helps a little. It's one of the big reasons why our Bolt has spent so much time on the highway compared to running around town. 

Once the weekend hits, however, several of our drivers made use of the Bolt for various shopping trips; its small size and handy cargo area make it great for grocery runs and getting spots in crowded parking lots. And let's face it, the Bolt may have some serious range, but no one is going to pick it for a road trip. It's destined for this kind of domestic duty, and it's good for it in more ways than one. 

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Monthly Update for May 2017

by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Where Did We Drive It?
I don't think a lot of us editors knew what to make of the Chevy Bolt EV when it first entered the fleet. Our experiences with compact EVs had been limited to cars such as the BMW i3, Fiat 500e and the Nissan Leaf, all of which have a usable range of around 100 miles or less. When you've got a fleet of "normal" cars, it's understandable the Bolt saw relatively few takers early on.

After a few months, and more than a few 200-plus-mile tanks of electrons, word has spread and more of our staff members are starting to take the plunge into the electrified waters. Yeah, bad choice of words there.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Monthly Update for February 2017

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Where Did We Drive It?
The answer to this question is not self-evident when it comes to the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV. You can't assume it's simply "to work and back" or "to dinner and a movie" like it might be for other $40,000 electric vehicles. As we've seen with the two Teslas we've owned, 200-plus miles of range is a difference that really makes a difference. You can actually go somewhere in a Bolt.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Introduction

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on February 6, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Last year at CES, General Motors debuted the production version of its Chevrolet Bolt EV with a large sign that read "200-Mile Range, Around $30,000." Two bold claims at a time when the only way to get an electric vehicle with that much range was to spend more than double that on a Tesla. GM said the Bolt would deliver on a promise of "a long-range electric vehicle attainable by the masses."

Here we are a year later and the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is now a reality. Critically for GM, the Bolt arrived about a calendar year before we expect to see the Tesla Model 3, which also promises to be an affordable long-range EV.

Not only did the Bolt arrive on time, it came with an EPA-verified range of 238 miles. That's more than double what most of the EVs on the market currently offer, which makes it far more attractive to average car buyers.

With that in mind, we added our name to a few of the waiting lists at nearby dealers. As soon as one became available, we took the plunge and scored one of the most talked-about EVs of the year for our long-term fleet.

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Past Long-Term Road Tests